European Tourism Grows Against the Odds


European tourism has despite the ongoing economic turbulence, shows that industry figures have risen. The findings were reported by ITB World Travel Trends. The findings appear to show that trips out of Europe have increased by about 4% year on year.


It seems that economic uncertainty of a number of European countries has not affected travel spending, which has risen by 2%.
According to a  UNTWO report, international trips to Europe fo 2011 rose to 671 million, an increase of 4.5%. In September 2011, travelers from 13 European countries were asked how often they intended to travel in 2012. Forty-three percent said they would be traveling as often next year, 27% aimed to travel more and 20% said they would be traveling less than in 2011. These trends would support solid growth and mean a new all-time high number of trips, even greater that the record year of 2008.

The Director of the Competence Center Travel and Logistics at Messe Berlin, said that despite the difficulties experienced by various eurozone countries, Europe’s travel industry has, to date, made it safely through 2011.

Compared with 2010, short-haul trips grew by 4% and made up 90% of trips overall and the number of short trips with 1 to 3 overnights, rose by 10%, while number of longer stays stayed relatively unchanged.
Where shorter journeys were concerned, respondents from 13 European nations preferred trips to northern, central, and southwestern European regions. This “stay at home” trend has been largely due to the political revolutions in countries, such as Tunisia and Egypt.  Many tourists avoided North Africa, which suffered losses of 15%. Travel to the Asia-Pacific region slowed but have been largely due to a drop in trips to Japan following the Fukushima disaster. North and South America together registered a 6% increase in tourism.

Among European travelers, major cities were popular but trips to rural regions and ski holidays fell by 7 – 5%, respectively. European travelers using low-cost flights rose by 10%, while traditional air travel suffered a 4% drop.

Interestingly, the use of Bookings by smartphones have made no significant impact, possibly due to the time travellers like to browse and compare options, easier done on a computer than a data intesive mobile phone.  Only 3% of European travelers said they used mobile devices to make their travel reservations while a huge 97% booked their trips via a PC or laptop. Online reservations at 63% of all bookings have effectively replaced telephone or in person bookings.


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